Illustrator Combine Objects

Hi there, Illustrator-noob Tom here with another stupid Illustrator question…

Want to turn this:

To, basically, this:

Those are 3 separate paths.

Thanks for any help! :slight_smile:

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Not near my computer, but aussiming those are paths with a stroke on them:

Select all, expand appearance, pathfinder divide, ungroup, delete unwanted lines, select all, pathfinder unite


I think that did it!



Make sure the middle object is in top.
Object -> Path -> Divide Objects Below
Delete four interior line segments.

Edit: Guess I’m too slow. :wink:


You might want to check the layer list for unfilled paths, or do a Object> Clean Up paths
(object>paths>cleanup? Can’t remember the string… Hmm… t’s in there somewhere!)


Is there something in Illustrator that allows you to do it in one go? Select objects and then Unite?

Yes, depending. (I realize that’s not much help, but it depends on the rest of the file that we can’t see.) :slightly_smiling_face:

If you have two closed shapes or compound paths overlapping, you can just set a fill for everything and then Pathfinder > unite.

If they’re open paths though, the divide tool is the way to go.

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Everytime folks talk about this in AI, I giggle and think this:

The word itself clashes for me. Ever since I read Mark Twain’s scathing send up of James Fenimore Cooper’s work, pretentious monikers that smack of those novels cause cognitive dissonance.

And sorry, @Tom_A, for interrupting. Just populating my memory palace to file away these tidbits. Carry on.


Here is the final(?) item. A gift for my daughter’s friend Hannah. A bookmark of a different type than I’ve made before. As you can see, Hannah is a clarinet player. It will be made with thin (1/16" maybe?) balsa wood (or similar) that is being purchased now.


Looks like you’ve got it combined. There are different ways of doing things in AI, and they all work. (I still can’t see the whole thing…viewing on the phone.)

If the rounded outside paths are a closed compound path you can do it the way I suggested, If not, jbv’s method is the way to go. That looks good from what I can see. :slightly_smiling_face:


Yes, the Shape Builder tool :smiley:


Just FYI, these are the tools you’re going to want to familiarize yourself with. Preparing a file for the laser in AI these are some of your most important tools (as already mentioned by @Jules and @jbv.

Pathfinder tool AI